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Discipline and Debt

16 Nov 2012 4:27 PM -
Thought I’d break it up this week with two of different stories worth thinking about.
 
Firstly, stockbroker Marcus Padley wrote recently about members of the ASX and the allotment of shares they received when the ASX listed itself on the share market in 1998.
 
The members, generally stockbrokers, were given 166,000 shares for every seat on the board of the ASX they held.
 
On the first day of trading the shares were worth $659,020.
 
Many sold, collecting their instant windfall.
 
Much to the horror of the sellers, the price more than doubled in two months.
 
Ten years later those shares, including dividends paid, would have totalled $4.47 million.
 
And while ASX shares have fallen from those lofty peaks, last year’s dividend payment alone was worth 44% of the initial trading price!   
 
Another reason why discipline and patience is so important when investing
 
Secondly, an unsurprising revelation from Canada last week linking increasing debt to being stressed out.
 
Canadian consumer debt hit record levels in the last quarter, just the same time several surveys revealed Canadians were more stressed about money than ever.
 
Those levels of non-mortgage debt were pushed upwards by higher levels of borrowing for cars.
 
Car loans in North America are now being offered with terms as long as eight years.
 
As you probably understand, when you lengthen the term of a loan you lower the weekly or monthly repayment, but the amount you’re paying back becomes larger.
 
The borrower then focuses on the smaller repayment and tends to ignore the overall amount they owe.
 
The unseen issue is a borrower might be four years into an eight year loan term, but when factoring in depreciation they still owe more than the car is worth.
 
Unfortunately, financial institutions have encouraged us to see everything as a manageable payment and this quietly steals from us over the longer term.
 
Something worth considering next time you or anyone you know is considering extending a loan term.

It’s never too early to invest in your future